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Cloud computing is a type of computing that relies on sharing computing resources rather than having local servers or personal devices to handle applications.
In cloud computing, the word cloud is used as a metaphor for “the Internet,” so the phrase cloud computing means “a type of Internet-based computing,” where different services — such as servers, storage and applications — are delivered to an organization’s computers and devices through the Internet.
In its most simple description, cloud computing is taking services (“cloud services”) and moving them outside an organizations firewall on shared systems. Applications and services are accessed via the Web, instead of your hard drive. The services are delivered and used over the Internet and are paid for by cloud customer (your business), typically on an “as-needed, pay-per-use” business model. The cloud infrastructure is maintained by the cloud provider, not the individual cloud customer.
Cloud computing has started to obtain mass appeal in corporate data centers as it enables the data center to operate like the Internet through the process of enabling computing resources to be accessed and shared as virtual resources in a secure and scalable manner.
For a small and medium size business (SMB), the benefits of cloud computing is currently driving adoption. In the SMB sector there is often a lack of time and financial resources to purchase, deploy and maintain an infrastructure (e.g. the software, server and storage).
In cloud computing, small businesses can access these resources and expand or shrink services as business needs change. The common pay-as-you-go subscription model is designed to let SMBs easily add or remove services and you typically will only pay for what you do use.
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